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ever heard RP FLIP before?

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by micropage7, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. micropage7


    Mar 26, 2010
    7,618 (2.72/day)
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    Jakarta, Indonesia
    FLIP (Floating Instrument Platform) is the US Navy's oldest, and most unusual, research vessel.

    Commonly referred to as the FLIP ship, it is actually a 355ft long, spoon-shaped buoy which can be flipped from horizontal to a vertical position by pumping 700t of seawater into the 'handle' end whilst flooding air into the 'cradle', causing it to rise up out of the sea.
    Once the 28 minute transformation from horizontal to vertical has taken place, 300m of the buoy are submerged underwater, keeping the 700 long-ton mass steady and making it perfect for researching wave height, acoustic signals, water temperature and density, and for the collection of meteorological data.

    FLIP was created in 1962 by scientists Dr Fred Fisher and Dr Fred Spiess, who wanted a more stable space than a conventional research ship to study wave forms. The build was funded by the US Office of Naval Research (who still own the buoy) and the Marine Physical Laboratory of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (who still operate it) and launched by The Gunderson Brothers Engineering Company of Portland, Oregon.

    FLIP was given a $2m makeover in 1995 and currently resides in La Jolla, California, although it operates all over the world. The buoy has so far completed over 300 operations


    The transformation from horizontal to vertical is one of the most impressive sights on the ocean. Because of the potential interference with the acoustic instruments, FLIP has no engines or other means of propulsion, so it has to be towed out to sea. In tow, FLIP can reach speeds of 7–10 knots.

    When it has reached its desired location, it either drifts freely or is held in place using one or all of its three anchors. The long, thin end of the buoy has special ballast tanks, which are then flooded with seawater, causing it to sink, whilst air tanks cause the other end of the buoy to rise. The protruding end is equivalent in height to a five-storey building.

    FLIP can operate equally well in shallow water or depths of over 2,000 fathoms. Once the 300ft of buoy is submerged the vessel is so stable it is almost unaffected by vertical wave motion.

    A 30ft wave only causes FLIP to move three feet vertically in the water column. Although this is the size of wave the buoy was built to withstand, FLIP can cope swells of up to 80ft.
    For FLIP to flip back to a horizontal position, air compressed into eight tanks is used to push the seawater out of the ballast tanks. The submerged end of FLIP rises until the buoy is once again level with the water


    Jizzler says thanks.

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